Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the most modern and advanced scientific tool to describe environmental and climate-related impacts of a given choice for a product from cradle to grave. Whereas the waste hierarchy indicates some general recommendations, the LCA will provide detailed and very solid scientific documentation, quantifying the environmental and climate-related impacts of a certain choice.
LCA studies are widely used by politicians and environmentalists in order to provide the best possible information for environmental and tax legislation. Consequently, such detailed LCA studies must be in line with strict international standards in order to avoid “greenwash” and manipulation by commercial or political interests.
Therefore, a set of ISO standards, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, has been drawn up, securing a high level of scientific credibility. Applied in the EU are furthermore the principles of the ILCD (the International Reference Life Cycle Data System), with which an LCA study should comply.
Moreover, an LCA study should always be subject to a peer review by independent researchers.
Genan has invested considerably in providing such scientific LCA documentation – liaising with renowned, international institutes, FORCE in Denmark and IFEU in Germany, to prepare and compile these studies.
The Genan LCA studies
Since 2009, four major LCA-studies have been finalised, comparing different options for disposal of end-of-life tyres. Three of these studies (one American, two European) compare the Genan concept of material recycling with co-incineration in cement kilns. The fourth study compares the Genan concept of material recycling with the use of end-of-life tyres as filling material, the so-called civil engineering applications. An executive summary of the most recent study from 2020 is available for download below.
All four studies show that compared with other options, the material recycling route offers significant benefits in all environmental and climate-related impact categories. Greenhouse gas savings are considerable, as the climate is spared 700 kg of CO2-emissions per tonne of end-of-life tyres recycled instead of incinerated.